On Saturday, September 5, we finally received the container that our friend, Ann Zon from Amhurst, NY, sent on August 3 to Port au Prince, Haiti. Sending a container is not an easy feat. But this has been Ann’s mission for many years, and she certainly has the experience. Ann has a mission heart and soul. She founded the Nicaragua Mission Project, where they send containers quite often to Nicaragua. 😀
Since last year, Ann extended her love for the missions to us. This is the second container she has sent to Jacmel. This time, the contents in the container were intended for our new seminary in the Diocese of Jacmel and the local hospital that serves the poor.
We would like to give you a little background about what happens when a container is sent to Haiti. It gets packed up in New York. Ann puts in her donations, then items are added from our Sisters in North America. The container was sent on August 3, and it arrived in Port au Prince on August 22. That is when we enter a race to get it out of Port as quickly as possible because, after ten days, we have to pay a fine for each day it sits there. We cannot do all that needs to be done on our own. We need to hire a broker who goes to the different Ministries to get it out for us; she does all the paperwork. Because this was coming to the Diocese of Jacmel, we had to have a letter from the Bishop so we would not be taxed. This takes a lot of time and needs a lot of patience. There are fees that must be paid ahead of time, and checks must sent from Jacmel to Port au Prince. We are blest to have Nicole as our broker. She is very good at her job and very dependable.
This past Thursday, we were told that the container could be released. We went to Port au Prince to pay for the container and to arrange to have it trucked to Jacmel. We were told that it was leaving Thursday afternoon and would arrive in the evening. Well, evening came, and morning followed, the second day and no container. We again called the man who was settling about the container being shipped to Jacmel. He made some calls and then told us it was in Carrfour, a town outside of Port au Prince. Then we were told we could not open the container when it would arrive until an inspector would come. In the meantime, we had lined up some of our boys and some other friends to help with the unloading. Also Caritas provided their trucks. This meant having water and food for our helpers. When we heard we could not open it when it arrived, we wondered how are we going to be able to do this and have our help waiting, possibly for days. So we went to Fr. Bertrande, the Director of Caritas, asking him to call the inspector and explain what the container was for and what was inside. He said we had the permission to open it when it arrived. So we waited and waited again. Evening came and morning followed the third day. There was still no container. So again, we called the man contacting the trucking company. Finally they called us and informed us we needed to pay an extra fine in the port for not picking up the container on Thursday. We still do not know why it was not picked up. So, we paid the extra $90. The container was on its way by 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Again, we waited…Then, at 4 p.m., the container finally arrived, and everything went smoothly because we could finally control the unpacking. With the help of Caritas taking the things for the new seminary and for the hospital, and with our boys and Fritz, we finished in 3 hours.
We thank God for Ann Zon and all those who donated to the poor here in Haiti. May God bless you all!
“…and God saw it was good!” Gn. 1:10 🌞